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Co-op is planning to open 100 new stores nationwide this year

The Co-op has confirmed plans to open 100 new food stores across the UK in 2018.

Co-Op plans to open 100 new stores in 2018.

The move, which will create 1,600 jobs, comes as part of the grocery giant’s plans to expand its footprint across the UK, all while rival retailers have climbed down on their own plans to open new stores as an increasing proportion of consumers choose to shop online.

More than 20 new stores are set to open in London, and up to 18 stores are planned for Scotland including several in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Rhayader, Powys, and Bryncoch, Neath, will be the first of ten new stores which are set to open in Wales. New stores are also set to target shoppers in Bristol, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Plymouth, Southampton, and York.

Co-op’s chief executive Jo Whitfield said the grocer was “positively responding to the changes occurring within this dynamic sector.”

The news follows twin announcements last year as the Co-op confirmed it had reached an agreement to become exclusive wholesale supplier to the 2,200 stores across the Costcutter Supermarkets Group network from spring 2018.

Back in October, wholesaler and drinks supplier Nisa Retail Limited confirmed that chief executive Nick Read will step down from his role as the company continues on-going acquisition talks with The Co-op in a reported £140 million sale.

The new-look stores will see The Co-op – which will revert to a clover-leaf design logo last seen in the 1960s — focus on offering fresh, healthy foods alongside increased ranges of own-brand and locally-sourced produce, according to the retailer.

Stuart Hookins, Co-op’s director of portfolio and development, said the group’s “extensive acquisitions and refit programme” was a fundamental part of The co-op’s strategy.

“Moving forward with a clear purpose and momentum,” he said, “our expansion plans for 2018 will mean that the Co-op is on track to have opened at least 100 new stores in each of three consecutive years.”

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